Fun in the sun
At last, summer’s here and the time is right for dancing in the streets. Not to mention fields, parks, islands, pubs, clubs and village halls. As the festivals season gets underway across the globe, Brendan Perring and Cate Simpson present a comprehensive round-up of the most exciting events in the calendar, from rock’n’roll in the Highlands to tomato fights in Spain and cross dressing in Ecuador.
7 - 10 JUNE
South Queensferry Arts Festival
South Queensferry, Edinburgh. Prices vary. www.visitscotland.com,
0131 529 5576
In a nutshell This year’s festival features over 40 events split over the three days comprising music, comedy, drama, workshops, poetry and exhibitions together with a continental street market and a beer festival. Typical Festival goer For the fun-loving artisan.
8 - 10 JUNE
Isle of Wight Music Festival
Isle of Wight. £52-125 (limited tickets). www.isleofwightfestival.com,
08705 321 321
In a nutshell This is one of the festival season’s premier events and the dramatic setting only serves to enhance it. The line up includes The Rolling Stones, Snow Patrol, Groove Armada, The Feeling, Echo and the Bunnymen, Muse, Kasabian, Amy Winehouse, Paulo Nutini and The Fratellis. Typical Festival goer For the festival family and those who like a more chilled vibe.
8 - 24 JUNE
West End Festival
Glasgow, West End. Prices vary. www.westendfestival.co.uk, 0141 572 0810
In a nutshell The Glasgow West End festival starts with a bang with a mass parade through the city featuring Scottish folk, steel bands, reggae, big band, soul, samba and a host of other performers. After the big blowout on the first day the festival features all manner of arts from music recitals to film, dance, theatre and comedy. Typical Festival goer For those who like diversity, fun and colour.
9 - 10 JUNE
Treefest and Wood Market
See Green Festivals, below.
9 - 10 JUNE
Loch Ness. £45-100. www.rockness.co.uk, 0870 220 1116
In a nutshell One of Scotland’s newest festivals, this is for the major dance hedonist as it is predominantly DJ-orientated with the likes of Chemical Brothers and Groove Armada headlining the main stage. However, this year sees some more variety brought to the mix with bands such as The Charlatans, The Bees, Trabant, Manic Street Preachers, The Feeling and Daft Punk all putting in an appearance. Typical Festival goer One for the hardcore party head.
10 JUNE - 21 NOVEMBER
www.labiennale.org, 00 39 041 521 8711
In a nutshell The Venice Biennale is one of Europe’s premier arts festivals and rivals the Edinburgh Festival in its scope. The festival is made up of five main components, all of which run between different dates: 52nd International Art Exhibition (10 June-21 Nov); 5th International Festival of Contemporary Dance (14-30 June); 39th International Theatre Festival (18-29 July); 64th Venice International Film Festival (August 29-September 8); 51st International Festival of Contemporary Music (October 4-13). This year’s film festival celebrates the work of Quentin Tarantino who will also be making a guest appearance. Typical Festival goer For lovers of international culture and travel.
15 - 17 JUNE
The Big Tent 2007 Festival of Stewardship
Falkland Palace, Cupar. Free-£10. www.bigtentfestival.co.uk, 01337 858 838
In a nutshell This three day event focuses on environmental education and entertainment. As the title indicates it is about protecting Scotland for future generations and this year’s theme is ‘Minding the Future.’ With creative workshops, puppet shows and storytelling for children, exhibitions, displays and debates for adults, and a festive ambience provided by world music artists, the festival provides something for every age group. Typical Festival goer For the family and those who like to learn.
21 JUNE - 1 JULY
Ottawa International Jazz Festival
Confederation Park, Ottawa, Canada. Prices vary. www.ottawajazzfestival.com/2007, 00 1 888 226 4495
In a nutshell Ottawa provides the setting for one of jazz’s central calendar dates. Over 20 of the world’s premier jazz artists play each night. The programme features Bill Frisell, Toots Thielemans, Kenny Werner and Cesaria Evora. Typical Festival goer The hardcore jazz lover.
21 - 29 JUNE
Bilbao BBK Live Festival
Kobetamendi, Bilbao, Basque Country. £25-46 (single day), £125 (four day pass). www.bilbaobbklive.com, 00 34 944795760
In a nutshell Situated in the wild and rugged landscape of the Basque country and with some of the oldest and most established names in live music playing, this event represents some of the best from the European festival scene. The bill includes the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Iron Maiden, My Chemical Romance and Incubus. Typical Festival goer One for the serious heavy music lover.
22 JUNE - 1 JULY
Glasgow Jazz Festival
Glasgow. Various venues. Prices vary. www.jazzfest.co.uk, 0141 552 3552
In a nutshell One of the world’s biggest and most diverse jazz gatherings, the event features over 50 artists in the main festival and more than 80 in the fringe. Acts include Acoustic Affair, Big Blues Day, Courtney Pine and Gilded Angels. Typical Festival goer Those who like intimate venues and good jazz.
22 - 24 JUNE
Rothiemurchus, Cairngorms National Park. £65. www.outsiderfestival.co.uk, 0870 220 1116
In a nutshell This is one for the pure music lover. The headlining acts include KT Tunstall, Crowded House, King Creosote, Salsa Celtica and Idlewild to name but a few. As well as live music, the festival features bike races and competitions (Merida Outsider), a 12km race (Britain’s most beautiful run) and a series of forums and discussions on environmental issues. Typical Festival goer For musos with outside interests.
23 - 29 JUNE
Moray Firth Flotilla
Moray, North of Scotland. Free. www.morayfirth-partnership.org/work-1-flotilla, 01349 877 858
In a nutshell Over 30 boats, including an international contingent from Norway, will set out for their tour along the coast of Scotland. The flotilla starts off at Wick and then moves on to Lybster, Helmsdale, Cromarty, Buckie and finally Portsoy to kick off The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival. In each port there will be local and commuity events celebrating the flotilla’s voyage. Typical Festival goer For the sailing enthusiast.
29 JUNE - 1 JULY
The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival
Portsoy, Banff. Free. www.stbf.bizland.com, 01261 842 951
In a nutshell The only event of its kind in the country and now in its 14th year, this colourful and dramatic three-day festival combines maritime, music, culture, discussion workshops and entertainment. This year the festival plays host to the finale of the Moray Firth Flotilla (see previous entry), with all the boats involved converging on Portsoy. Typical Festival goer For those with a passion for sailing and tradition.
1 - 2 JULY
Tarbert Seafood Festival
Tarbert, Argyll. Free. www.seafood-festival.com
In a nutshell Set around the picturesque natural harbour at Tarbert on Loch Fyne, this annual festival showcases some of the best seafood Scotland has to offer. The line-up begins with the arrival by sea of the Seafood Festival Queen who is formally crowned on the harbourside, kicking off a weekend of live bands, cookery demonstrations, street entertainment, exhibitions and carnival parades. There is plenty for kids, including a balloon parade and entertainment by the quayside, while parents can take part in the ladies versus gents football match. Typical Festival goer For the seafood addict and traditional music lover.
7 - 14 JULY
Traverse City, Michigan. Some events ticketed. www.cherryfestival.org, 00 1 888 231 947 42
In a nutshell Founded in 1926 to promote cherries, tourism and community involvement, this eight-day festival features cherry pip spitting contests, a family sand sculpture contest and a Cherryopoly tournament (presumably a variation on the popular family game). It culminates in an ice cream social followed by fireworks. Typical Festival goer For those who want their festival cherry popped.
6 - 8 JULY
T in the Park
Balado Airfield, Kinross. Limited tickets. www.tinthepark.com, 01577 863 680
In a nutshell While the Arctic Monkeys and Lily Allen storm the main stage, one of the lesser known things about T in the Park is its green credentials - see panel, left.
6 - 15 JULY
Frome, Nr Bristol. Prices vary. www.fromefestival.co.uk, 01373 455 420
In a nutshell Frome festival focuses on a different theme each year, this year’s being artistic innovation and green thinking. There’s a host of visual art exhibitions, lectures, walks, workshops and dramatic productions based around these themes, and the festival also includes a range of live acts from classical recitals through to stand up comedy and contemporary folk music. Typical Festival goer For those who appreciate green thinking and variety.
7 - 8 JULY
Nr Charlbury, Oxfordshire. £48-60 (Adult); under 16s £5.50; under 5s free. www.cornburyfestival.com, 0871 472 0420
In a nutshell The Cornbury Festival is tailor-made for the whole family. Artists appearing this year include Blondie, David Gray, The Feeling, Waterboys and The Proclaimers. The festival features an eclectic mix of elements from farmers’ markets to chilled out rock and pop. Typical Festival goer For families who like their classic rock and pop.
9 - 14 JULY
Deep Fried Film Festival
Coatbridge and Airdrie. Venues vary. Prices vary. www.deepfriedfilm.org.uk
In a nutshell Launched last year, Deep Fried Film Festival is open to all and shows films from Scotland and around the world. This year’s expanded festival includes five screening nights and ‘Deep Fried Kids’ for films made for or by children. During the rest of the year, Deep Fried Film offers training schemes for school and youth groups aimed at introducing kids to filmmaking. Typical Festival goer For those who like original film.
11 - 15 JULY
Salisbury, Nr London. £25-46. www.larmertreefestival.co.uk, 01725 552 300
In a nutshell The Larmertree Festival has been running since 1990 and is one of the UK’s most visually beautiful and relaxing festivals for those who want to get away from it all. The programme features more than 70 international, national and regional bands, from brand new discoveries to world famous artists. This year’s main acts include Jools Holland, who plays on the Wednesday.
Typical Festival goer For those who like beautiful surrounds and good music.
11 - 14 JULY
Hebridean Celtic Festival
Stornaway, Isle of Lewis. Day tickets from £14 or £50 for a three-day pass. www.hebceltfest.com, 01851 621 234
In a nutshell The Hebridean Celtic Festival takes place in various venues across the island with this year’s performers including The Proclaimers, Blas and Seth Lakeman. Typical Festival goer Appeals to a diverse group who enjoy their entertainment in an atmospheric setting.
13 - 15 JULY
Henham Park, Halesworth, Suffolk. £112 (weekend); £45 (day). www.latitudefestival.co.uk, 0870 060 3775
In a nutshell Latitude, which launched last year, offers a more relaxed vibe than the bigger festivals. This year Arcade Fire are headlining, along with Jarvis Cocker and The Hold Steady. The festival also includes a comedy strand featuring Dylan Moran and Alan Carr and a kids’ area with entertainment from nature trails to ‘music and bounce’ sessions for babies. There is also a literary and poetry arena, playing host to up and coming hip hop and slam poetry performers. Typical Festival goer For those who appreciate page turners as much as headliners.
13 - 15 JULY
Bute Live Music and Arts Festival
Isle of Bute. Prices vary. www.butelive.co.uk, 0870 720 0619
In a nutshell Situated on the rugged Isle of Bute this festival features family events such as children’s theatre and concerts as well as live music. Outdoor types should head for the amazing camp sites overlooking the many coves and bays dotted around the island. Typical Festival goer For those who enjoy intimate gatherings.
14 - 15 JULY
Glasgow. Victoria Park, West End. £65. www.indiansummerglasgow.com
In a nutshell The focus of Indian Summer is on creating a comfortable environment to showcase new talent. The line-up includes Wilco, Optimo, The Rapture, The Flaming Lips, Annual and Lonely Dear. Typical Festival goer Those who like a relaxed, mellow environment and quality alternative acts.
16 - 21 JULY
Aberdeen International Football Festival
Seaton Park, Aberdeen. Free. www.aiff.co.uk, 01467 641 161
In a nutshell A weeklong football festival for kids aged 14-16. Building on past successes the AIFF aims to build community ties through sport as well as bringing together different nationalities to promote increased cultural diversity and tolerance. Typical Festival goer For the young sporting enthusiast.
19 - 22 JULY
Skye Festival (Feis an Eilein)
Sleat, Skye. Free. www.feisaneilein.com, 01471 844 207/888 595
In a nutshell Not to be confused with the Isle of Skye Music Festival, this smaller event is a celebration of Highland culture which boasts a wide variety of events (in Gaelic and English), from theatre and traditional music to workshops and exercise classes. Main events include the Aos Dana book festival, featuring Alastair Scott’s reading ceilidh, and Rody Gorman’s translation into Gaelic of the lyrics of Bob Dylan. Typical Festival goer For those who want to discover the real Scotland.
19 - 22 JULY
British Open Golf Championship
Carnoustie. £5-£200. www.opengolf.com
In a nutshell Tiger Woods returns to defend his title for the third time, while 1997 winner Justin Leonard will be competing for the first time in eight years. Typical Festival goer For the golf addict.
20 - 21 JULY
See Back to the Roots, below.
1 - 11 AUGUST
Aberdeen International Youth Festival
Aberdeen. Various venues. Prices vary. www.aiyf.org
In a nutshell A unique multi-arts event with a reputation for attracting some of the finest young dance companies, classical dance academies, youth orchestras, bands and music ensembles from around the world. Typical Festival goer For those who wants to spot tomorrow’s stars.
1 - 11 AUGUST
Festival del Film Locarno
Locarno, Switzerland. Prices vary. www.pardo.ch, 00 41 91 756 2121
In a nutshell This international festival features some of the most diverse film talent from around the world. As with most film festivals the directors and writers compete for accolades across a multitude of categories. Set in magnificent Locarno and frequented by the rich and famous this is a special event comparable to Cannes in the cinema calender. Typical Festival goer The passionate cineaste.
3 - 4 AUGUST
Nessfest (Loch Ness Music Festival)
Loch Ness. £15-35. www.feisgleannalbainn.co.uk, 01320 366 707
In a nutshell Held in the grounds of dramatic Fort Augustus Abbey, Nessfest is not to be confused with the dance event Rockness. Starting on the Friday night with talents such as Darien Project and Wolfstone in the Big Top, the following two days feature a huge variety of events from market stalls and magic competitions to pub crawls and walking tours. The final night showcases the talents of all-girl band Sirens, concluding with an evening of traditional music from Lau and Shooglenifty. Typical Festival goer For the traditional festival lover.
3 - 5 AUGUST
The Big Chill
Eastnor Castle Deer Park, Gloucester. £125 (adults) £60 (13-15-year olds). www.bigchill.net
In a nutshell The Big Chill’s emphasis is on the overall festival experience, celebrating creativity and community rather than focusing on rounding up the year’s biggest bands. Although attendees now number as many as 5000 a year, The Big Chill has retained its laid-back vibe which is due in no small part to its setting in the stunning surroundings of Eastnor Castle. Typical Festival goer Those who really, really know how to take it easy.
3 - 12 AUGUST
Auchtermuchty. Prices vary. www.auchtermuchty-festival.org.uk
In a nutshell Running for 26 years, the Auchtermuchty festival features concerts, ceilidhs, competitions, workshops and sessions, and takes the ‘Wild West’ as its theme this year. Nestled between the Falkland hills and the river Tay, Auchtermuchty provides a picaresque and relaxed setting. Typical Festival goer Fun for all the family.
4 - 5 AUGUST
Live at Loch Lomond
Loch Lomond. £42-75. www.liveatlochlomond.com, 0870 109 0100
In a nutshell Scotland’s newest music festival, Live at Loch Lomond expects to welcome around 40,000 revellers to its inaugural bash. The organisers have put together a bill encompassing a wide range of music which will appeal to all ages and musical tastes, with confirmed artists including Faithless, Supergrass and indie sensations Thirteen Senses. There is also a dedicated dance tent. Typical Festival goer Indie kids and ravers who can’t resist a bit of fresh air.
4 - 5 AUGUST
Festival of Orchids
Scone Palace. £3-£12 (festival), £4.50-£7.50 (grounds and palace tours), £23 (family). www.scone-palace.net
In a nutshell Set against the background of Scone Palace and gardens, the family event includes displays by some of the UK’s top orchid nurseries and suppliers, as well as talks and demonstrations on the hard-to-master art of orchid growing, Q & A sessions, competitions, and orchids for sale. There are also guided tours around the grounds and state rooms. Typical Festival goer For the green fingered among us and those who apprecite such skills.
4 - 11 AUGUST
Skandia Cowes Week
Cowes, Isle of Wight. Free. www.skandiacowesweek.co.uk, 01983 295 744
In a nutshell In the waters of the Solent over 1000 yachts and 8500 competitors take part in this week-long regatta attracting national and international entrants, from true amateurs to Olympic and World champions. The largest and longest running regatta in the world, Skandia Cowes Week began in 1826 and has only paused for two world wars. Over the course of the competition it attracts over 100,000 visitors to the Isle of Wight, made up of not only sailing enthusiasts, but people wishing to soak up the atmosphere of one of the world’s most exciting sailing events. Typical Festival goer For those who love sailing and spectator sports.
4 - 12 AUGUST
Pittenweem Arts Festival
Pittenweem, East Neuk of Fife. Exhibitions free, prices vary for other events. www.pittenweemartsfestival.co.uk, 01333 313 903
In a nutshell 25,000 visitors are set to descend on the small fishing village of Pittenweem for this, the 25th arts festival. A huge variety of exhibitions take over local residents’ houses and other buildings, including work by Joachim Römer and Takaya Fujii. This year’s invited artists are Elizabeth Blackadder and John Houston. There’s an extensive bill of live music featuring John Huston, Rocket 88 and The Edinburgh Quartet. Typical Festival goer Art enthusiasts and day trippers.
6 - 12 AUGUST
Glasgow. Various venues. Prices vary. www.pipingfestival.co.uk
In a nutshell Glasgow’s festival of piping returns with the best in Scottish and international piping talent to celebrate the finest current and emerging piping music. Some of the biggest names in piping will be performing in outdoor spaces and venues throughout Glasgow city centre for this uniquely Scottish event. Typical Festival goer For those who love the sound of pipes.
8 - 15 AUGUST
Budapest, Hungary, Obudai Island. £79-99 (week). www.szigetfestival.com, 00 36 1 372 0685
In a nutshell One of the festival scene’s most original locations, Obudai Island is situated in the middle of the Danube. The 20 minute ride out whets your appetite for what will be a week of madness and sensory stimulation. This year features The Killers, Pink, The Chemical Brothers, Faithless, Mika, The Hives and Razorlight. Typical Festival goer For adventure lovers seeking something a bit different.
10 - 11 AUGUST
Belladrum Tartan Heart Music Festival
Italian Gardens, Beauly, Inverness-shire. £70 (weekend pass); free (accompanied under 12s). www.tartanheartfestival.co.uk, 01463 741 366
In a nutshell The entertainment runs from ‘invenetian’ masked balls to ground thumping ceilidhs whilst the live music bill includes The Magic Numbers, Alabama 3, Julien Cope, Amy MacDonald, String Driven Thing, The Peatbog Faeries and Tunng. Typical Festival goer Upbeat hedonists everywhere.
17 - 19 AUGUST
Green Man Festival
Glanusk Park, Brecon Beacons. £35 (Live-in vehicle); £98 (Adult weekend). www.thegreenmanfestival.co.uk, 0870 667 799
In a nutshell Held in the Brecon Beacons national park, GMF includes a wealth of different options such as cinema, DJ, literature and children’s tents as well as on-site specialists in massage and alternative therapies. Typical Festival goer For those who appreciate a mix of beauty, health and entertainment.
Borlum Farm, Drumnadrochit, Loch Ness. £30, £12 (under 12s). £100 (family ticket). www.runrig.co.uk/lochness, 01456 459 086
In a nutshell As the name hints, this bash focuses on major Scottish band Runrig who will be playing at the idyllic venue on the shores of Loch Ness. The supporting acts include the Red Hot Chili Pipers, Wolfstone, Aberfeldy and The Vatersay Boys. Typical Festival goer Lovers of old school performance and a traditional big gig night.
18 - 19 AUGUST
Whisky Fringe Festival
Mansfield Traquir Centre, Edinburgh. Prices vary. www.royalmilewhiskies.com, 0131 622 6255
In a nutshell Take your first nip or enhance your existing knowledge at this relaxed and informal event. Industry professionals will be on hand to guide you through some of the 150 whiskies featured in the show, helping to educate participants’ palates. Based in a restored episcopalian church, over 15 different distilleries will be present, so whether you are a professional or just want to learn, there is something for everyone. Typical Festival goer The whisky and architecture connoisseur.
23 - 27 AUGUST
Towersey Village Festival
Towersey, Nr Thame, Oxfordshire. £22 per day. www.towerseyfestival.com, 01629 827 016
In a nutshell Now in its 43rd year, the Towersey village festival plays host to an impressive mix of established names and rising stars including Seth Lakeman, John Tams & Barry Coope, The Battlefield Band and Van Eyken, as well as a lively ceilidh tent. The Shooting Roots Youth Project returns and comprises music, dance, theatre, song workshops and interactive performances. For younger festival goers, the simultaneous Towersey village children’s festival includes music and craft workshops which are designed to be both fun and educational. Typical Festival goer For those who appreciate community spirit.
24 - 27 AUGUST
Orkney Beer Festival
The Stromness Hotel, Orkney. Free. www.visitorkney.com/events, 01856 972 856
In a nutshell This is an event for the serious beer connoisseur, which, besides the sampling of huge varieties of beer and ales in a beautiful Orkney setting, features a series of informal lectures and talks on the art of making and drinking beer. Typical Festival goer For beer connoisseurs everywhere.
25 - 26 AUGUST
Daresbury Estate, Halton, Cheshire. £57-100. www.creamfieldsfestival.co.uk, 0871 424 4001
In a nutshell This hedonistic party in the countryside attracts tens of thousands of revellers each year. The event is truly massive, with over 50 acts playing across multiple stages throughout the day and night. This year includes the likes of The Chemical Brothers, Carl Cox, Kelis, Mark Ronson, Carl Cox, Erick Morillo and Dave Clarke. Typical Festival goer For the rave and hardcore dance faithful.
25 - 26 AUGUST
Strathhaven Hot Air Balloon Festival
John Hastie Park, Strathhaven. Free. www.strathavenballoonfestival.co.uk, 01555 860 285
In a nutshell Hot air balloon flights and demonstrations run throughout the two days (depending on weather conditions) as enthusiasts try to outdo each other with the craziest colours and biggest balloons. A farmers’ market and children’s fun fair and tombola also feature. The highlight is a series of evening flights on Saturday 25 as the fiery mammoths lumber their way into the night sky. Typical Festival goer For anyone seeking a relaxed vibe.
25 - 27 AUGUST
Spirit of Speyside Walking Festival
Moray and Speyside. Walks free; £50 for those who want transport and accommodation. www.walkingfestival.net, 01343 542 666
In a nutshell A festival of themed walks throughout Moray and Speyside for the young, old, complete beginner and experienced walker. Moray and Speyside offer some of Scotland’s most spectacular walks with pristine trails and countryside. Typical Festival goer For the walking and nature enthusiast.
26 - 27 AUGUST
Notting Hill Carnival
London, Notting Hill. Free. www.nottinghillcarnival.org.uk
In a nutshell This event is a celebration of dance, colour and life. Moving around a four mile circuit, the procession features the masquerade, steelband, calypso, soca, static sound systems and samba. While purists have attacked it as a sell out to its upmarket surrounds, it is essentially about exhibition and expression. Typical Festival goer Families and party animals who love an electric atmosphere and mixing it up with the locals.
27 AUGUST - 3 SEPTEMBER
Burning Man Festival
Black Rock City, Nevada. Approx £140. www.burningman.com
In a nutshell After starting out as a small community who made pilgrimages to a beach in Florida to escape the madness of the modern world, this event has grown to embrace a community of over 25,000 who congregate each year for an eight-day-long happening on the beach of the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. The event takes its name from its Saturday night ritual, the burning of a wooden effigy. Typical Festival goer Free spirited hippies.
Bunol, nr Valencia, Spain. Free. www.cyberspain.com/life/tomatina.htm, 00 34 923 26 88 60
In a nutshell This single day of red madness and mayhem envelopes the small town of Bunol every year. Rumour has it that the festival started when a fight between two market vendors broke out and spread through the town. They obviously enjoyed it because it has been repeated every year since on the last Wednesday of August. A fortnight-long music and food festival runs for a week on either side of the day of tomato throwing (22 Sep-5 Sep) and attracts over 30,000 visitors. Typical Festival goer Fans of fine food, fine weather, great music … and tomato fights.
31 AUGUST - 2 SEPTEMBER
Inveraray Castle, Argyll. £105 (weekend) or £125 if camping; £45-50 (single day). www.connectmusicfestival.com, 0870 169 0100
In a nutshell A new festival from the guys who brought us T in the Park, Connect boasts gourmet food, high end accommodation and one of Scotland’s most beautiful settings at Inverary Castle on the banks of Loch Fyne in addition to a bill of great acts. They include Beastie Boys, Primal Scream, Björk, The Jesus & Mary Chain, CSS, The Only Ones, LCD Soundsystem, Idlewild and Tily & the Wall. Typical Festival goer For the indie rock connoisseur looking for something a bit special.
31 AUGUST - 2 SEPTEMBER
Dundee Flower and Food Festival
Camperdown Country Park, Dundee. Free. www.dundeeflowerandfoodfestival.com, 01382 434 940
In a nutshell The festival (main pic) includes floral displays, cookery demonstrations, crafts and kids’ activities. Celebrity gardener Carol Klein (Gardener’s World) and chef James Martin (Saturday Kitchen) will be divulging industry tips to the public and possibly to the winner of the School Super Chef, open to high school pupils. While mostly comprised of demonstrations and displays there are ample opportunities for interactive learning and sampling the creations throughout the festival. Typical Festival goer For foodies and floral enthusiasts.
1 - 2 SEPTEMBER
Pilrig Park, Edinburgh. Free (individual events vary). www.edinburgh-mela.co.uk, 0131 339 3583
In a nutshell Founded 12 years ago, the Mela is a celebration of the growing ethnic diversity of Edinburgh. Crowds in excess of 60,000 are expected to attend this year, to sample amazing world cuisine, crafts, music, culture and fashion. The festival aims to bring people together in a relaxed atmosphere to foster cultural harmony and greater understanding. Typical Festival goer For those who like an alternative experience.
3 - 9 SEPTEMBER
UCI Mountain Bike and Trail World Championships
Aonach Mor, Fort William. £27.50-£60 (single); £130-£135 (family); under 8s free. www.fortwilliamworldchamps.co.uk, 0131 557 3012
In a nutshell This event is a blend of high adrenaline for the contenders and exciting viewing for spectators. It attracts roughly 450 riders from around 30 countries who have been fighting it out for over six months for the ultimate prize of world champion. Last year’s event pulled in more than 200,000 spectators who can watch the riders go through three different disciplines: downhill sprint (for the speed junkies), cross-country (for the endurance specialists), and four-cross (a head to head sprint race across a demanding course). Typical Festival goer For the adrenaline junkie.
6 - 25 SEPTEMBER
Aberdeen. Prices vary. www.techfest.org.uk, 01224 274 196
In a nutshell Lord Robert Winston kicks of this year’s event, promoting science, engineering, maths and technology through a series of schools programmes and workshops, public lectures and a family activities weekend. The focus is on encouraging a new generation of young scientists to take up the reigns of research and innovation. Typical Festival goer For the boffin.
Isle of Gigha Music Festival
Isle of Gigha. Prices vary. www.highland2007.com, 01463 702 007
In a nutshell Set on one of the most beautiful islands off the coast of Scotland, this festival is a celebration of local culture, ranging from acoustic guitar sets to poetry readings. The island, seven miles long by a mile and a half wide, is large enough to accommodate the crowds who flock from far afield. Typical Festival goer For those who like intimate live music and a great atmosphere.
7 - 9 SEPTEMBER
Loch Lomond Food and Drink Festival
Loch Lomond. Prices vary. www.lochlomondfood anddrinkfestival.com, 01436 679 882
In a nutshell The festival includes cookery demonstrations and competitions, a food hall selling products from small scale producers, whisky tastings from a host of distilleries and a real ale festival. Typical Festival goer For those who seriously appreciate food and drink.
14 - 16 SEPTEMBER
Black Bottle Islay Jazz Festival
Islay. Prices vary. www.islayjazzfestival.co.uk, 0131 467 5200
In a nutshell A weekend of high-quality, modern jazz in Islay’s atmospheric surrounds. The event uses the entire island as a backdrop so you can hear world-class musicians playing a concert in a distillery filling shed, in the front room of an Islay house or while sampling the home baking at Portnahaven. Typical Festival goer Jazz and nature buffs.
15 - 16 SEPTEMBER
Medieval Methill Summer Festival
Promenade, Fife. Free, 01333 421 611
In a nutshell Held in a reconstructed medieval village, all the organisers and staff are dressed in medieval costume and act out every day village life from the blacksmiths shop to farming. There are battle re-enactments and you can learn medieval skills from fletching arrows to weaving baskets. Typical Festival goer Time travellers.
23 - 24 SEPTEMBER
Fiesta de la Virgen de las Mercedes
Latacunga, Ecuador. Free, www.vivecuador.com
In a nutshell Probably Ecuador’s most famous and beguiling festival, this is an opportunity to realise your secret desires to raid mama’s wardrobe. Men dress up as women and blacken their faces, and there’s a whole lot of dancing and partying in the streets. The festival spills over for a week on either side of the main drag event. Typical Festival goer Any man who’s ever longed to don his mother’s clothes.
27 - 30 SEPTEMBER
Galway International Oyster Festival
Galway, Republic of Ireland. Free (general events), £20-£170 (ticketed events), www.galwayoysterfest.com, 00 353 91 587992
In a nutshell This festival is a true celebration of the best in gourmet seafood and culture complemented by the best Guinness in Ireland (so they say) and a series of live music events. Typical Festival goer For the seafood and culture connosieur.
As more and more festival goers wake up to the impact they are having on the environment, a growing number of event organisers are doing their bit to minimise the damage. A Greener Festival 2007 is a voluntary award scheme set up to recognise their efforts. Below are some of this year’s contenders
9 - 10 JUNE
Treefest and Wood Market
Edinburgh, Inverleith Park. Free. www.edinburghtreefest.org.uk, 0131 332 2229
In a nutshell This free family festival seeks to raise awareness about the need for sustainable resource management. There are stalls and crafts, axe throwing and tree climbing demonstrations, renewable energy games, a skate ramp and extreme mountain biking displays.
14 - 17 JUNE
Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
Manchester, Tennessee. Prices vary. www.bonnaroo.com
In a nutshell A bill of international celebrities help spread an environmentally friendly message about the dangers of global warming and the devastation of the environment. Bill includes The Police, The White Stripes and Franz Ferdinand.
22 - 24 JUNE
Glastonbury, Somerset. Prices vary. www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk, 01458 834 596
In a nutshell Glastonbury has always been big on recycling initiatives and plays host to a ‘green’ area for alternative medicine, demonstrations and displays of environmentally-friendly technologies and techniques. This year The Killers, The Who and Kylie Minogue perform.
6 - 8 JULY
T in the Park
Balado Airfield, Kinross. Prices vary, www.tinthepark.com, 01577 863 680
In a nutshell Last year T in the Park took to green thinking in a big way, introducing widespread recycling. As part of the Carbon Neutral scheme, the organisers have contributed large amounts of funding to reforestation projects in Scotland, Mexico and Uganda.
7 - 9 SEPTEMBER
Isle of Wight. Prices vary, www.bestival.net, 020 7379 3133
In a nutshell Bestival has had a good ecological record for some time, and enforces a host of compulsory policies such as the use of biodegradable packaging on all vendors and stallholders. Bill includes Beastie Boys, Billy Bragg, 2manyDJ’s and The Gossip.
Working at festivals
If you don’t have the cash, or if the tickets have sold out, and you still want to experience the big festivals this summer, then read on. Every year thousands of people experience festivals by picking up litter, pumping loos, selling drinks or shovelling muck. It can be dirty work but also hugely rewarding
Being a steward means shepherding people around, taking care of any problems which arise and generally being responsible for keeping the public in line. Stewards are generally unpaid and have to spend up to eight hours a day on their feet but it is one of the most fun jobs going. The largest recruiter of stewards for festivals all over the UK is the charity Oxfam, which covers everything from Glastonbury to Womad.
Visit www.oxfam.org.uk and type ‘steward’ into the search engine, 0870 333 2700
Many festivals use recruitment agencies to get the required minions to pull pints and pour vodkas. Unlike stewarding a large proportion of bar work is paid and you get free entry, however the drawback is that it can be gruelling due to the massive numbers of people involved. One of the biggest bar recruiters is Flair Events.
www.eventstaffing.co.uk, 0115 943 1800/07769 89 6629
This entails a lot more than controlling the crowds when they get out of hand. The general ethos is to be seen and not felt. Shifts are normally run in rotas so you can get out and enjoy the festival when you aren’t working. Another plus is that security staff are normally well paid, and even if you are working there is always a chance you will be right at the front of the crowd without being pushed or shoved.
www.stuartsecurity.co.uk, 01454 203470
www.rocksteady.co.uk, 0131 554 4400
Event Recycling and Cleaning
This can be one of the dirtiest jobs going and is usually unpaid. However you can get into even sold out festivals right up to a few days before they open. Although dealing with the masses of rubbish which festivals generate the work is the most flexible and often recruitment companies like Event Recycling will take you on for the whole summer meaning you can make friends and tour a variety of festivals without paying for transport. Like many festival jobs you are also assured regular cooked meals and a much better standard of accommodation than most festival goers.
www.eventrecycling.co.uk, 0117 944 5883
www.nukleen.com/industrial.htm, 0208 594 0800
Back to the roots
21 - 22 JULY
Inverness Highland Games
Inverness. £2-6, www.invernesshighlandgames.com, 01463 724262
In a nutshell Part of Highland 2007, this event features the full range of modern sports events as well as traditional ones like the caber throw, Scots hammer throw and the stone throw.
20 - 21 JUNE
Stonehenge, Wiltshire. Free, www.stonehenge.co.uk, 0870 333 1181
In a nutshell This festival celebrates the ancient rights and traditions that surround the stone circle. It aims to educate and keep such ancient lore alive through participation and education and centres around the ancient celebration of Summer Solstice when the pagan sun god comes to the peak of ascendance.
20 - 21 JULY
East Kirkcarswell Farm, Dundrennan. £45-65, www.thewickermanfestival.co.uk, 01738 450442
In a nutshell Now in its fifth year, Wickerman, which is headlined by The Proclaimers this year, is a haven for those who are disillusioned with the commercialism of larger festivals. There is a children’s area and tents devoted to a wide variety of music styles. The high point is the torching of a 30ft Wickerman on the Saturday night, which symbolises the renewal and cleansing of the spirit.
South Queensferry, West Lothian. Free, 07751 897 692
In a nutshell This event is so named after the burry man (a local volunteer) who is dressed in flannel and covered head to food in burrs which cling to his body. He is then paraded around the town. The Burry Man is believed to be an ancient Pagan festival used to sustain local beliefs through the oppression of Christianity in the middle ages and represents a celebration of the turning of the seasons. The day includes a fair with stalls of traditional food and entertainment.
Braemar, Nr Balmoral. £13-15, www.braemargathering.org, 013397 41098
In a nutshell Situated only a mile away from Balmoral, and attended by the Queen, this event has been going in one form or another for over 900 years and sees the best of Scotland’s pipe bands competing alongside traditional games. The tug of war is a hotly contested event each year.
August in Edinburgh can mean only one thing - festival season. Below are some of the biggest and best
26 JULY - 2 SEPTEMBER
Edinburgh Art Festival
Various venues. Prices vary, www.edinburghartfestival.com, 0782 533 6782
In a nutshell Housed in over 30 galleries across Edinburgh, this festival features everything from blockbuster exhibitions to grassroots artist-led projects. Highlights include Andy Warhol, Richard Long and a new exhibition by Nathan Coley.
27 JULY - 5 AUGUST
Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival
Various venues. Prices vary, www.edinburghjazzfestival.com, 0131 467 5200
In a nutshell The 2007 EJBF features some of the biggest names in its history. They include The Bad Plus, Benny Jolson, Courtney Pine, Barbara Morrison and Colin Steel.
5 - 27 AUGUST
Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Various venues. Edinburgh, www.edfringe.com, 0131 226 0026, www.tonthefringe.com, 0870 169 0100
In a nutshell Last year the Fringe featured more than 28,000 performances in 261 venues, and 2007 boasts an even more impressive line up of comedy, drama, dance, kids’ shows and music courtesy of T on the Fringe.
10 AUGUST - 2 SEPTEMBER
Edinburgh International Festival
Various venues. Prices vary, www.eif.co.uk, 0131 473 2000
In a nutshell The EIF is widely regarded as one of the leading arts festivals in the world. This year, under new director Jonathan Mills, there is an emphasis on the importance of mythology in the packed programme.
11 - 27 AUGUST
Edinburgh International Book Festival
Charlotte Square, Edinburgh. £3-10, www.edbookfest.co.uk, 0131 718 5666
In a nutshell An international line up of over 600 authors will take part in book readings, debates and discussions.
15 - 26 AUGUST
Edinburgh International Film Festival
Various venues. Prices vary, www.edfilmfest.org.uk, 0131 228 4051
In a nutshell Now in its 61st year the EIFF is the best film festival in the UK and features a stimulating and entertaining mix of films, talks, lectures and other events.